More than 150 water fixtures in Cleveland schools test positive for high lead levels

CLEVELAND-- The Cleveland Metropolitan School District released its findings from voluntary lead testing it conducted over the summer.

CMSD turned off drinking-water sources at 69 buildings for tests following the water contamination issues in Flint, Michigan.

Out of more than 1,700 drinking-water outlets screened, 9 percent had elevated lead levels, the school systems said on Friday. That means more than 150 faucets and drinking fountains tested positive.

Low levels of lead can cause behavior and learning problems in young children. It can even result in a lower IQ, slowed growth and hearing issues, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Protecting children from exposure to lead, especially those under the age of six whose brains are still developing, is critically important to learning and development," CMSD said.

The district said it is replacing 79 drinking fountains and 40 faucets in areas like kitchens, nurses' offices and teachers' lounges. In addition, 40 other fixtures, which were not working at the time of the tests, will also be replaced as a precaution.

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